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A Park to
Rocky Mountain National Park
2014 Trip Planner and Guide
On September 4, 1915, hundreds
of people gath...
Answer Pages
2 See pages 10-11 for trip planning publications
Be Prepared
Rocky Mountain National Park
weather can be chan... 3
Answer Pages
Camping Permits
Permits are required for all camping
in backcountry sites and ...
When famed Rocky Mountain News
editor William Byers visited this
region back in 1864, he tried to
climb Longs Peak. Byers ...
Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountain
National Park’s renowned highway to
the sky, inspired awe before the first
motorist ever ...
Approximately one-third of Rocky
Mountain National Park is alpine
tundra, which generally begins at
elevations above 10,50...
Popular Hikes 7
Destination Trailhead Distance
(one-way in miles)
NYMPH LAKE Bear Lake 0.5
Watching Wildlife Tips
Never, ever feed wildlife, including birds and chipmunks. Feeding
reduces their ability to survive ...
Summer in Rocky Mountain
National Park means green
meadows, shimmering lakes,
plentiful wildlife and flower shows
on the a...
Rocky Mountain Nature
Finley‐Holiday Films
This spectacular DVD tour lets you
experience the best of Rocky...
Park Map
12 See pages 10-11 for trip planning publications
All passes are available at all park entrance stations. Payment...
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NostalgicOutdoors™- Rocky Mountain National Park TRIP PLANNER


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NostalgicOutdoors™- Rocky Mountain National Park TRIP PLANNER

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NostalgicOutdoors™- Rocky Mountain National Park TRIP PLANNER

  1. 1. A Park to Celebrate Rocky Mountain National Park 2014 Trip Planner and Guide On September 4, 1915, hundreds of people gathered in Horseshoe Park to celebrate the dedication of America’s newest playground, Rocky Mountain National Park. Signed into law on January 26 of that same year by Woodrow Wilson, Rocky Mountain National Park was created to protect the incredible resources found within its boundaries so that future generations might also benefit from their beauty and wildness. Encompassing 415 square miles of rock-ribbed wildness, Rocky Mountain National Park is a land of superlatives. Seventy-two peaks soar above 12,000 feet, topping off at 14,259 feet on the expansive summit of Longs Peak. The mountains provide Rocky Mountain National Park with its sense of wonder and inspiration. Today, approximately three million people visit the park each year, many driving its roads and hiking an extensive trail system offering more than 350 miles of scenic trails to explore. Despite the changes around and within, Rocky Mountain National Park is a bastion of preservation. And there’s more to this park than mountains. The park protects more than 100 square miles of alpine tundra, a land above the trees. Trail Ridge Road offers easy summer access to this wide open, windswept ecosystem where the startling views seem to span forever. The Continental Divide runs northwest to southeast through the park on its course from the Seward Peninsula in Alaska to the southern tip of South America. Snowmelt and rainwater to the west of the Great Divide flow toward the Pacific Ocean; runoff to the east is bound for the distant Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. The park also is home to many gorgeous lakes. Some occupy serene forested settings. Others are perched on almost inaccessible shelves high in the park’s wilderness, remaining frozen most of the year. Throughout the park, the unforgettable sound of rushing mountain waters breaks the wilderness silence. Several of the park’s more than 450 miles of streams tumble down breathtaking waterfalls, and the high country gives rise to small streams and great rivers, notably the Colorado, the Cache la Poudre and the Big Thompson. Stands of ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, lodgepole pine, aspen, subalpine fir and Engelmann spruce adorn the mountainsides. The forests are interspersed with mountain meadows that fill with colorful wildflowers during the brief high country summer. This magnificent country ranks as one of America’s premier wildlife watching destinations, showcasing majestic elk, sure-footed bighorn sheep, hardy ptarmigan and soaring birds of prey. People, too, are a part of the Rocky Mountain National Park wilderness. Hikers walk trails used by Indian hunting parties many centuries ago. Fishermen stalk trout in streams where trappers once sought beaver. The failed efforts of prospectors are remembered at Lulu City, an abandoned mining town on the park’s west side. The Holzwarth Historic Site recalls the early days of tourism. The people who fought to create Rocky Mountain National Park in 1915 would be proud to see the park of today. The foundation that has been built over the past 100 years continues to grow and evolve as the park explores the scientific and cultural treasures protected within its boundaries. This foundation will carry Rocky Mountain National Park, and the people who care for it, forward into the next century. Nature reigns supreme here, from the highest summits to the lowest valley floors. The park is a wild preserve where people — in their own special ways — experience nature in all its splendor. All this is cause for celebration, indeed. n Visit the park’s website for more information at A major flood affected the east side of the park in September, 2013. Between September 11-13, Rocky Mountain National Park and surrounding east slope communities received up to 18 inches of rain, which caused catastrophic flooding. The park, which contains many of the headwaters of this flood, received significant damage on bridges, roads and trails. However, damage in the park was relatively minor in comparison to the disastrous flooding experienced by downstream communities east of the park. The west side of the park was largely unaffected by the storm. Due to the flood, backcountry travelers may encounter different conditions than they have experienced in the past. Visitors may find missing foot bridges, missing trail segments, uneven trail surfaces, unstable slopes and fallen trees. In addition, rutted trails and steps, difficult water crossings, and missing directional signs may also be encountered. Be prepared. Most of Rocky Mountain National Park is designated wilderness, where self-reliance and adventure should be expected. Park staff is assessing damage and coordinating needed infrastructure repairs. The park will then determine to what degree damaged trails will be repaired, given that ninety-five percent of the park is designated wilderness and taking into consideration that the flood was a natural event. For up-to-date information and conditions, please check the park’s website,, stop by a park visitor center, or call the Information Office at (970) 586-1206. Park Flood Conditions Alert No matter what the season, visits to the stunning wilderness of Rocky Mountain National Park require planning and preparation. A few tips: l Most visitors arrive during the summer months. Expect lots of company on roads, along popular trails and in parking areas, especially between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and weekends in September, when camping reservations inside the park and lodging reservations outside the park are imperative. l Trail Ridge Road crests at over 12,000 feet, so don’t push your physical limits in this region located above 8,000 feet. Altitude sickness symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, rapid heartbeat and insomnia. Take time to acclimate before engaging in strenuous activities, and if symptoms persist, go to lower elevations. l Beware of falling trees. Increasing numbers of dead trees creates an ever-present hazard for park visitors.Trees can fall without warning, especially on windy days or after a snowstorm, when branches are laden with snow. l Staying well-hydrated is very important while visiting the park, but there is limited drinking water available. Bring your own water containers and refill them at park visitor centers. Don’t drink directly from streams or lakes - giardia is present in the park. l Be prepared for changing weather conditions. Even on summer days a light jacket or sweater is often needed to ward off chilly temperatures. l While not naturally aggressive, black bears have a sensitive sense of smell that draws them to odiferous materials, including food, drinks, toiletries, pet food and cooking items. See proper storage techniques listed on page 8. Help protect the bears! l Order trip planning materials from pages 10 and 11 of this publication. Products featured in the 2014 Guide are particularly helpful in preparing for a trip to the park. l Upon arrival, stop by a park visitor center for current information on everything from road and weather conditions to hiking trails, camping and ranger-led programs. l For more information, visit the park’s website at or call the Rocky Mountain National Park Information Office at 970-586-1206. n Planning Essential for Park Visits INSIDE Answer Pages 2-3 Suggested Activities 4 Scenic Drives 5 Hiking & Climbing 6 Longs Peak 6 Popular Hikes 7 Wildlife 8 Quiet Times 9 Park’s West Side 9 Nature Store 10-11 Park Map and Shuttle Info 12 Bighorn sheep lambs, Rocky Mountain National Park.The park is a hiker’s paradise with access to stunning high country scenery and amazing wildlife viewing. (Gene Putney) National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior
  2. 2. Answer Pages 2 See pages 10-11 for trip planning publications Be Prepared Rocky Mountain National Park weather can be changeable and sometimes extreme. As elevation is gained, temperatures drop and precipitation increases, so be prepared for chilly conditions – especially at higher altitudes – year-round. Bring appropriate footwear and clothing for each season, including rainwear for summer storms and winter gear designed to protect against extreme cold and wind. Layers of insulating, windproof clothing like synthetic or wool are recommended at all times of year, especially for higher elevations. Temperatures, precipitation, and conditions can vary year to year, and sometimes the seasons blur together - it can snow on the mountains any month of the year! Summer (mid-June — early September) Sunny mornings, afternoon thunderstorms often with dangerous lightning, and clear, cool nights typify this glorious mountain season. This is the busiest time of year in the park, when visitors enjoy wildflowers, possible wildlife sightings, and most all park facilities are open. Autumn (mid-September —November) In general, autumn comes early to the high country. Days often start with clear, frosty mornings and bright blue skies, and end with chilly nights. Snowstorms are possible, and Trail Ridge Road can temporarily close due to snow. Trail Ridge usually closes for the season by mid- to late-October. The elk rut is at its height from mid- September through mid-October. Aspens usually turn golden in the Grand Lake area in early September. On the east side, autumn colors commonly start at Bear Lake in mid- September and in the Estes Park area in late September. Temperature, rain, snow and wind can affect the trees and cause the leaves to fall early. Winter (December — March) Conditions can range considerably this time of year. Days at lower elevations on the east side of the park can be windy, cool and snow- free, while higher elevations experience extreme winds, great temperature ranges and howling snowstorms. Typical west side winters have more snow, less wind and cold temperatures. Though some park roads and facilities are closed, this is a quieter time throughout the park and often a good time to view wildlife. Snow-shoeing and cross-country and backcountry skiing are popular activities on both the east and the west sides of the park. Spring (April — mid-June) Spring in the park is very unpredictable. March and April are typically the snowiest months on the east side, with snows often occurring in May and even early June. Spring snows tend to be much wetter. However, warm, dry, sunny spring days when the first flowers bloom and plows are working to clear the upper reaches of Trail Ridge Road are also enjoyable. Be Informed Trail Ridge Road Status – recorded message on the current road status, 970-586-1222 Colorado Department of Transportation Road Conditions 877-315-7623 or Ranger-led Programs A wide range of ranger-led walks, talks and evening programs is offered throughout the summer. In winter, ski and snowshoe treks are available by reservation. Programs are listed in the official park newspaper. For more information, call 970-586-1206 or visit ranger_led_activities.htm Pets Leashed pets are allowed only in areas accessed by vehicles, including roadsides, picnic areas and campgrounds. Leashes must be no longer than six feet. Pets are not permitted on any park trails, in meadow areas or in the backcountry. They are allowed on national forest trails. Boarding facilities are available in nearby communities. Fishing Populations of trout species, including brown, brook, rainbow and cutthroat, are found in the park. Fishing is permitted in designated park waters. A valid Colorado license is required for all persons 16 years of age and older. Annual, five-day and one-day resident and non-resident licenses are sold in neighboring communities. Some lakes and streams are closed to fishing to protect threatened native species. Other areas are catch-and-release only, with special regulations in place. Detailed information, including license fees, open and closed waters, methods of capture and limits on size and possession, is available at park visitor centers, ranger stations and online at fishing.htm Horseback Riding Several stables are located in and around the park, offering guided rides along park trails. For a list of private companies contracted to conduct horseback rides in the park visit goodsandservices.htm Private stock is allowed. More than 260 miles of park trails are open to horses, mules, ponies, llamas and burros; visit planyourvisit/horses.htm Bicycling Bicycling is allowed on all park roads unless otherwise posted. Bicycling is not permitted on any trails. Be well supplied with water and food and use extreme caution when riding on park roads. Be aware of narrow, steep and winding roadways, in some cases traversing altitudes over 12,000 feet in elevation. Alpine weather conditions can change quickly and dramatically, bringing gusty winds and frequent summer thunderstorms. Road shoulders are narrow. There are few guardrails and many steep drop-offs. Bicyclists must ride single-file only with the flow of traffic, and they must obey all traffic regulations. Motorists: Give ample room when passing bicyclists. For additional information, visit biking.htm Food & Water Adequate hydration is important to help prevent altitude sickness. Drink plenty of water, two to three times more than usual. Always take water when hiking. During the summer, the only place to purchase food and beverages in the park is at the Café atTrail Ridge Store, adjacent to the Alpine Visitor Center. When shuttle buses are operating, bottled water is sold at the Park & Ride. Restaurants and grocery stores are located in nearby communities. The park encourages limiting the use of plastic water bottles by refilling reusable water containers at visitor centers and campgrounds. Recycling receptacles are available parkwide. In winter, water is only available at open visitor centers. Never drink untreated water from streams or lakes. Picnicking Picnicking is very popular in the park. Picnic areas are indicated on the official park map. All are first‐ come, first‐served. Some have fire grates, some allow portable grills, and some have restroom/vault toilet facilities. Visit planyourvisit/picnicking.htm for more information. Lost and Found Please turn in found items at any park visitor center. The Backcountry Office handles lost items; contact them at 970‐586‐1242. Free Wi-Fi Bring your wireless electronic device for free WI‐FI service, available in and around the Beaver Meadows, Fall River and Kawuneeche visitor centers. Firearms Firearms are permitted in Rocky Mountain National Park. As of February 22, 2010, a federal law allows people who can legally possess firearms under federal, Colorado and local laws, to legally possess firearms in this park. It is the visitor’s responsibility to understand and comply with all applicable federal, Colorado and local firearms laws. The discharge of firearms and hunting within the park are prohibited.Federal law prohibits firearms in certain facilities in Rocky Mountain National Park, and those places are posted with signs. Visit firearms_regulations_rmnp.htm for more information. Lodging & Visitor Services No lodging is available inside the park, but hundreds of accommodations are located in nearby communities. Contact the Estes Park Visitor Center (800-443- 7837, 970-577-9900, and the Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce (800-531-1019, 970-627-3402, or for information on everything from lodging, camping, restaurants and retail stores to guided tours, recreational opportunities, instruction and gear sales or rentals. Service Animals The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. Service animals perform some of the tasks that a disabled individual cannot perform for themself. Service animals that have been individually trained to perform specific tasks for the benefit of persons with disabilities are allowed in the park. Emotional support (“therapy animals”) are not service animals under the ADA and may not access trails or other non‐ motorized areas or park buildings. National Forests The Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests (ARNF) surround Rocky Mountain National Park. In addition to campgrounds, hiking and cross- country skiing/snowshoeing, the National Forest offers some recreational opportunities not available in the park, including hiking with dogs, water recreation, four‐wheeling, hunting, mountain biking and downhill skiing. For further information, contact the ARNF Fort Collins Ranger Station at 970‐295‐6700; the Boulder Ranger Station at 303‐541‐2500; the Granby Ranger Station at 970‐887‐4100; the Arapaho National Recreation Area (Lake Granby area) at 970‐887‐4100; or visit The Park is Always Open Rocky Mountain National Park is open 24 hours a day year-round. Visitors can enter or exit any time. Summer is the busiest time of year. Visitor center hours vary seasonally. Some park facilities and roads are closed during the winter months, including much of Trail Ridge Road and Old Fall River Road. If visitors intend to stay overnight, they must be in a designated campground site or a backcountry campsite reserved by a valid permit. Some park campgrounds are open in winter. There is no overnight lodging in the park; see neighboring communities for local options.
  3. 3. 3 Answer Pages Backcountry Camping Permits Permits are required for all camping in backcountry sites and zones. Carry-in/carry-out hard-sided bear- resistant food storage canisters are required for all backpacking parkwide between May 1 and October 31. There are inherent risks to traveling and camping in the backcountry. One of those risks is hazard trees. Campers should assess their campsite for standing dead trees that could fall. Camp safely away from standing dead trees, as near as is safely possible to the silver metal arrowhead that marks the site. Campers should always follow Leave NoTrace ethics.To prevent bears from breaking into cars, food storage lockers are located at several trailheads for backcountry campers with extra food. Don’t store extra food in vehicles overnight! Updates on the current status of specific backcountry campsites and use permits are available from the Backcountry Office. Reservations for summer permits: By phone, mail or in person: March 1 - May 15 By mail, or in person only: May 16 - September 30 Reservations for winter, spring & fall permits: By phone, mail or in person: Jan. 1 - May 15; Oct. 1 - Dec. 31 RMNP Campground Information — Summer 2014 Campground Reservation availablity? Summer Firewood/ice/ kindling/lighter fluid/ charcoal/ pop/ice cream (cash only at ranger stations) Max RV/Trailer Length (feet) Toilets Summer Dump Station/ Potable Water Hose Hookup? Description Aspenglen Elevation: 8220’ 53 sites Summer only Yes; can be filled by reservations Yes 30’ Flush No, use dump station at Moraine Park, Glacier Basin, Timber Creek • Located in a pine forest near Fall River just inside the Fall River Entrance on US Hwy 34, west of Estes Park • Within walking distance of the Fall River Visitor Center Cell phones do not work in Aspenglen Glacier Basin Elevation: 8500’ 150 sites Summer only Yes; can be filled by reservations Yes 35’ Flush Yes • Located in a lodgepole pine forest along Bear Lake Road • On summer shuttle bus route • Hazard trees removed, so no shade in C-, D- & Group -Loops Glacier Basin Group Sites Elevation: 8500’ 13 sites Summer only Yes; can be filled by reservations Yes Tents only Flush N/A • Fee is $3 per person per night • Located in a lodgepole pine forest along Bear Lake Road • Hazard trees removed, so no shade Longs Peak Elevation: 9405’ 26 sites Summer only Always first-come, first served Firewood only Tents only Vault N/A • Located 9 miles souh of Beaver Meadows Visitor Center off of Hwy 7 • Trailhead to Longs Peak and other destinations nearby Moraine Park Elevation: 8160’ 244 sites Open year-round Yes; A-,C- & D- Loops can be filled by reservations B-Loop is first- come, first-served Yes Limited number of RV/trailer sites up to 40’ Flush except B-Loop: vault Yes • Located in a ponderosa pine forest above the meadows of Moraine Park; • Trails from the campground connect to numerous other trails • Access to free summer shuttle to Bear Lake and Estes Park from campground • Solar-heated shower bag stall facility Timber Creek Elevation: 8900’ 98 sites Summer only Always first-come, first-served Firewood only 30’ Flush Yes • The only west side campground • Near the Colorado River, 10 miles north of Grand Lake on US Hwy 34 (Trail Ridge Road) • Hazard trees removed, so no shade By mail, or in person: Any time of year Backcountry Offices are located next door to the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center on the east side and at the Kawuneeche Visitor Center on the west side. An administrative fee of $20 is charged for backcountry camping between May 1 and October 31. For details and further reservation information, visit backcountry.htm 2014 Campground Information l Every park campsite has a tent pad, fire grate and picnic table. l Except for Longs Peak Campground, which only accepts tents, all campgrounds can accommodate tent trailers, tents, pickup campers, trailers and motorhomes. More than one tent is allowed as long as they all fit on the tent pad. l Whenthewaterisoninthesummer, all campsites are $20.00/site/night. When the water is off in the winter, all campsites are $14.00/site/night. l Moraine Park Campground has a stall facility to hang your shower bag. There are no other shower facilities in the park. l America the Beautiful Senior and Access Pass holders receive a 50% discount on camping fees. l Quiet hours: 10:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m. Generator hours: 7:30 – 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 – 8:30 p.m. (where allowed). l Maximum 8 people per site. l Stay Limit: 7-nights total, parkwide, June1– September30,withanadditional 14 nights allowed October 1 – May 31. l Reservations are highly recommended and may be made up to 6 months in advance at 877-444- 6777 or at www.reserveamerica. com, or use the iPhone App. l Parkcampgroundsusuallyfillby midmorninginsummerandonfall weekends. Accessibility l Rocky has many accessible facilities for visitors, including visitor centers, scenic overlooks, self-guided trails, campgrounds, some picnic areas, and a backcountry campsite. The Access Rocky brochure is available online at planyourvisit/brochures.htm and the park website offers additional information at accessibility.htm l Most park shuttle buses are accessible and can accommodate wheelchairs. Contact shuttle staff or rangers if accommodation is needed. l The park film is captioned for hearing impaired visitors at Beaver Meadows and Kawuneeche visitor centers, and features audio description for the visually impaired at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. l The TTY for hearing impaired callers to the park is 970‐586‐1319. l The Sprague Lake Accessible Backcountry Campsite is available by reservation. This site can accommodate 12 campers, including five wheelchairs. The administrative permit fee is $20 between May 1 and October 31. Call the Backcountry Office for more information, 970‐586‐1242. Phone & Web Info Park website: General park information: 970-586-1206 Trail Ridge Road status: 970-586-1222 Campground reservations: 877-444-6777, www.reserveamerica .com or (iPhone App) Backcountry information: 970-586-1242 Emergencies: 911 Colorado Travel and Tourism: 800-COLORADO, n
  4. 4. When famed Rocky Mountain News editor William Byers visited this region back in 1864, he tried to climb Longs Peak. Byers failed, but he had a memorable experience making it to the summit of neighboring Mount Meeker. To anyone planning a visit to this stretch of the Rockies, Byers advised a trip of at least eight days. Of course, he traveled by horseback and it took him a couple of days just to get here from Denver. But a week in this area definitely is worth considering, especially if you’re in search of the perfect trip. Here are some suggestions on how to spend seven days in Rocky: DAY ONE: Time to stretch those legs. Pick a gentle trail for a stroll. Wander to a nearby waterfall (maybe Copeland, Adams or Alberta) or around a beautiful lake (perhaps Bear, Sprague or Lily). Many people require a day or two to get used to the altitude, and some time spent at the park’s lower elevations is a good idea. DAY TWO: If you’re feeling acclimated to the elevation, explore the high country by car. The trip across Trail Ridge Road is punctuated by many scenic overlooks that will introduce you to the region. There’s lots to see – scenery, wildlife and wildflowers. A leisurely drive with lots of stops, short walks and chats with the rangers will make this a memorable outing. Top off your full day with an evening ranger talk at one of the campgrounds. (Inquire at a visitor center or call 970-586-1206 for topics and times.) DAY THREE: Begin your morning with a ranger-led birdwatching expedition. (See the park newspaper for programs.) You do not have to be an avid birdwatcher to enjoy an introduction to this informative and interesting activity. In only an hour or two, you can learn a lot about the park and its wild inhabitants. Spend the rest of the day walking on the road along Moraine Park toward Fern Lake trailhead, exploring the Big Thompson River and stopping for a picnic along the way. DAY FOUR: Do what the locals do: Hike the backcountry. Pick a more ambitious walk to a location suited to your ability. (See page 7 of this publication for hiking suggestions.) Plan on an afternoon rain shower. DAY FIVE: Take a Rocky Mountain Field Seminar. The non- profit Rocky Mountain Nature Association offers half-day, day-long and multi-day classes for adults, kids and families on all sorts of natural and cultural history subjects. In a short time and at a reasonable cost, you can learn a lot from experts about subjects such as outdoor skills, photography, wildlife, art and history. (Reservations are required. For information and registration, call 970-586-3262 or visit DAY SIX: Now that you’re better acclimated, it’s time to try a more rigorous hike. High country lakes are especially popular destinations. Today, you also can apply what you learned from your chats with rangers, the birdwatching trip and your seminar. DAY SEVEN: Try something new. Perhaps you’ve never ridden a horse, been fly fishing, climbed a mountain or sketched an alpine scene. Here’s your chance. After you’ve sampled one or two Rocky Mountain wonders, you’ll find there’s a lot more to do than you thought. But after this first week, you’re off to a great start. n Suggested Activities A WEEK IN THE PARK Rocky Has Plenty to See & Do What can we see in a single day in Rocky Mountain National Park? Lots of mountains, that’s for sure. Whatever else you see here depends on what you’re looking for, but Rocky has so much to offer, so try something new! l Drive Trail Ridge Road. It is one of America’s most spectacular scenic drives and every one of the many overlooks provides amazing views. l Take a hike. Experience the wilderness of the park’s backcountry. There are lots of trails and a wide variety of destinations, from lakes and waterfalls to summits, forests and meadows. l Watch for wildlife. Viewing the great variety of animals and birds is one of the most popular activities in the park. Elk, mule deer and bighorn sheep are seen year round. l Attend a ranger‐led program. Year‐round, park rangers lead a variety of interesting and informative walks, talks, hikes, evening programs and more. Check schedules in current park newspapers. l Become a Junior Ranger. Kids 12 and younger can particpate, with fun activity books the whole family can enjoy (in English and Spanish). Pick up a booklet at a park visitor center and earn a Junior ranger badge! l Visit a visitor center or historical site. Stop at a visitor center and explore the exhibits and talk to a ranger. l Visit Holzwarth Historic Site. Get a taste of early tourism at one of the first dude ranches in Colorado. Keep your eyes peeled for moose in the Kawuneeche Valley! l Enjoy a picnic. Many places within the park provide pleasant outdoor settings made better with family, friends and food. Look for picnic icons on the park map. l Take pictures. The park is perfect for photography. Wildlife is abundant and the mountain scenes tend to change hourly with varying light, clouds and shadows. Kids are born naturalists. They access the natural world by asking questions. Introducing children to the outdoors can begin at any time, but why not begin early? And why not start them out in Rocky Mountain National Park, one of the country’s premier outdoor wonderlands? Infants can be carried in a front pack, tucked inside the jacket if it’s chilly. Hike anywhere. The stunning scenery and the fresh mountain air will put them to sleep in short order. Toddlers more actively interact with nature. It is a time of observation, of making connections and stockpiling information. This is a wonderful time to introduce them to one of the many discovery trips found around the park. A few suggestions: j Explore the edges of Bear Lake while enjoying the guidebook‐ guided trail tour that explains the area’s interesting natural and human history. Water holds an amazing variety of plant and animal life that will pique a child’s curiosity. j Discover Rocky Mountain’s wonderful wildlife. At particular times throughout the year (ask a park ranger), the bighorn sheep come down to Sheep Lakes. Kids especially enjoy watching them cross the road after the lambs are born in late May. j Kids a little bit older might enjoy expending energy hiking along a trail, but most seem happiest thoroughly exploring a smaller area. On any hike with 3‐ to 6‐ year‐ olds, it’s a good idea to include a magnifying glass in the backpack. Textures of trees, plants, bugs and rocks are exciting when viewed close‐up. j Children love climbing on rocks. The trail to Gem Lake is a rocky paradise lined by boulders that are perfectly arranged for climbing. The scenery is inspiring for parents and kids alike. j In the early summer, enjoy the amazing display of colorful wildflowers found along the trails to Cub Lake and around Lily Lake. Have the youngsters keep an eye out for hummingbirds that may be visiting the flowers. Watch for beaver activity along streams. Beaver dams, active or abandoned, are easy to spot, and stream banks are ideal places to look for animal tracks. j Kids ages 12 and under have fun learning about the park through the popular Junior Ranger program. Age‐specific Junior Ranger activities booklets are available for free at visitor centers throughout the park in both English and Spanish. After completing the activities in the colorful, heavily illustrated booklets, youngsters are awarded an official Rocky Mountain National Park Junior ranger badge. In the summer, kids can enjoy the special Junior Ranger programs and earn their badge at Junior Ranger Headquarters at Hidden Valley. n Watching wildlife is one of the most popular activities for visitors in the park. (NPS Debbie Biddle) A DAY IN THE PARK A List of “Must Do’s” While in Rocky! 4 See pages 10-11 for trip planning publications Discover Nature With Your Kids RMNA Nature Stores recommends: ä A Day in Rocky Keeping Rocky Junior Rangers Make a Difference!! Hey, kids! Be sure to pick up a Junior Ranger activity booklet at any park visitor center - it’s full of fun games and great stuff to discover with your family and friends. When you’re finished, you can earn an official Junior Ranger badge! There’s more national park adventures to be found at home - visit these park websites for some cool park activities: (click on webrangers) (click on Junior Ranger) (click on Just for Kids!) W I L D
  5. 5. Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountain National Park’s renowned highway to the sky, inspired awe before the first motorist ever traveled it. “It is hard to describe what a sensation this new road is going to make,” predicted Horace Albright, director of the National Park Service, in 1931 during the road’s construction. “You will have the whole sweep of the Rockies before you in all directions.” The next year, Rocky Mountain’s wilderness interior was introduced to the first travelers along an auto route Denver’s Rocky Mountain News proclaimed a “scenic wonder road of the world.” Was all this simply exaggeration? Hardly. Spanning the 50 miles between Estes Park on the park’s east side and Grand Lake on the west,Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous paved highway in the United States. Eleven miles of this high highway travel above treeline, the elevation near 11,000 feet where the park’s evergreen forests come to a halt. As it winds across the alpine tundra’s vastness to its high point at 12,183 feet elevation,Trail Ridge Road offers motorists thrilling views, wildlife sightings and spectacular alpine wildflower displays. Whether they begin their journey at Estes Park or Grand Lake,Trail Ridge Road travelers climb some 4,000 feet in a matter of minutes.The changes that occur en route are fascinating to observe. Montane woodlands of aspen and ponderosa pine soon give way to thick subalpine forests of fir and spruce. At treeline, the last stunted, wind-battered trees yield to the alpine tundra. Up on that cold, windswept world, conditions resemble those found in the Canadian or Alaskan Arctic. The tundra normally is windy and 20 to 30 degrees cooler than Estes Park or Grand Lake. The sun beats down with high-ultraviolet intensity. The vistas, best enjoyed from one of several marked road pullovers, are extravagant, sweeping north to Wyoming, east across the Front Range cities and Great Plains, south and west into the heart of the Rockies. For all its harshness, the Trail Ridge tundra is a place of vibrant life and vivid colors. Pikas, marmots, ptarmigans and bighorn sheep may be seen. About 200 species of tiny alpine plants hug the ground. Despite a growing season that lasts less than 50 days, many plants bloom exuberantly, adorning the green summer tundra with swatches of yellow, red, pink, blue, purple and white. All colors are seen from the Tundra Communities Trail, a half- hour walk beginning near the parking area at Rock Cut. Below treeline, forested moraines, great heaps of earth and rock debris left behind by melting Ice Age glaciers, rise above lush mountain meadows. The Continental Divide, where streamflows are separated east from west, is crossed at Milner Pass, located in subalpine woodlands at a surprisingly low 10,120 feet elevation. Moose munch greenery in the upper reaches of the Colorado River, which flows through the scenic Kawuneeche Valley. Grazing elk greet sunrise and sunset in many of the park’s forest- rimmed meadows. Trail Ridge Road is a paved two- lane U.S. Highway (34) with virtually no shoulders or guardrails.The road is only open when weather conditions are favorable, usually late-May through mid-October. At all elevations, the drive onTrail Ridge Road is a memorable adventure. Put aside at least a half day for the trip. Longer, if possible. It’s worth the time.The experience, to be sure, is hard to describe. n Scenic Drives Magnificent mountain scenery is commonplace along Trail Ridge Road, a summer‐only highway that climbs to a high point of 12,183 feet in Rocky Mountain National Park. (NPS Ann Schonlau) Sweeping Vistas Abound on Trail Ridge Road One of the most popular scenic drives on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park, Bear Lake Road travels 9.3 miles into the heart of the Glacier Gorge region to Bear Lake. This jewel of a lake sits at the foot of the Continental Divide at 9,475 feet of elevation. And there’s a reason that this area is a favorite – it’s absolutely stunning. For those traveling this historic road, however, it’s not only the destination of Bear Lake that beckons. The route itself offers an array of activities that branch from it like a web, many of which also are accessible using the free shuttle buses that service the Bear Lake Road corridor during the summer. Located off U.S. Highway 36 just west of the Beaver Meadows Entrance Station, this scenic drive begins in Moraine Park (‘park’ is the historic, local term for a valley), where visitors take a drive through geologic history. The giant meadow is the path of an ancient glacier that moved boulders and crushed rocks in its path, leaving behind a wide open space where the meadow now exists. Framing this lush meadow are hills, called moraines, which are the remains of the rocks and debris that were pushed aside by this ancient wall of moving ice. Through Moraine Park runs the Big Thompson River that attracts a variety of wildlife to its shores for the life-sustaining qualities the river provides. Two trailheads are nearby at the end of Moraine Campground road – Fern Lake and Cub Lake trailheads – and are themselves the gateways to gorgeous waterfalls, lakes and mountain summits. Moraine Park Campground welcomes campers to this delightful spot at the edge of the meadow to spend a night under the stars in a tent or in a camper. Visitors have nearby access to riding stables, hiking and evening programs that are offered by park rangers throughout the summer. Continuing on along Bear Lake Road and winding through forests of pine, spruce, fir and aspen, several picnic areas are positioned along the road itself. These sites are marked on the official park map handed out at the entrance stations. Be forewarned – no picnic tables are located at Bear Lake itself. Moving along Bear Lake Road, a stop at scenic Sprague Lake is well worth the time. Here, a stroll around the packed gravel accessible trail offers breathtaking views of the Continental Divide – as well as the occasional moose and other wildlife. The trail is perfect for strollers and invites a picnic lunch at the picnic site nearby. For a summer backcountry experience, Sprague Lake Camp is a rustic wheelchair-accessible backcountry campsite that can be reserved ahead of time through the park’s Backcountry Office. Wintertime at Sprague Lake offers a number of trails for great backcountry skiing and snowshoeing routes as well. Further along on Bear Lake Road, the trail to Bierstadt Lake beckons dedicated hikers and climbs to a high-mountain lake nestled in the pines. Though not for the faint of heart, the switchbacks on the trail reward a hiker’s determination with views that will not disappoint. At the terminus of this popular road lies Bear Lake itself. A hub of the park’s trail system in Glacier Gorge, the area is surrounded by scenic mountains – and lots of people. A short jaunt from the parking lot leads directly to the lake, where Hallett Peak dramatically rises across the water and where aspen trees throw caution to the winds with their colorful autumn display. Packed gravel covers what is considered a disabled-accessible trail over partially uneven ground, and whatever the season, it’s a delightful walk in the high country. Bear Lake is the site of much historical activity, including the Bear Lake Lodge and the Bear Lake Trail School, a youth camp for boys, now both removed. Today, this site remains a premier park experience. Boasting amazing views of Hallett Peak and Longs Peak, the beginning of many hiking adventures in the high country, and as a quintessential scenic site, Bear Lake means many things to many people. And the route to get there offers a host of opportunities for making lasting memories; of family, friends, and of this amazing place. n Bear Lake Road Offers Scenery and Much More Along with Trail Ridge Road, Bear Lake Road is one of the busiest during the summer season. (Tim Argenziano) Trail Ridge Road usually opens for the season on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. It is not uncommon for the road to be closed temporarily during the summer season because of snowfalls. Heavy snows typically close the road for the winter season 5 More information about Bear Lake Road available at: bear_lake_road.htm More information about Trail Ridge Road available at: trail_ridge_road.htm and road_status.htm RMNA Nature Stores recommends: ä Geology Along Trail Ridge Rd ä Guide to Trail Ridge Road ä Bear Lake Nature Trail When Are the Park Roads Open? in mid- to late October. Old Fall River Road was heavily damaged in the September, 2013, flood. For current information, please check the park’s website, romo/planyourvisit/road_status.htm, stop by a park visitor center, or call the Information Office at 970-586-1206. Bear Lake Road is open year- round, but visitors are strongly urged to take advantage of the free summer Bear Lake Road corridor shuttle bus service. (See page 12 for shuttle information.) n
  6. 6. Approximately one-third of Rocky Mountain National Park is alpine tundra, which generally begins at elevations above 10,500 feet and boasts some of the most dramatic mountain scenery imaginable. Many tundra trekkers are captivated by sweeping views encompassing rock, ice, sky and distant ranges. But pausing to take in the subtle wonders of the alpine world can enhance the hiking experience. The vast, wide-open landscape in this land above the trees tells some amazing stories of adaptation and survival. Animals such as American pikas and Yellow-bellied marmots can be found in rocky areas, where they persevere in an arctic-like climate. Elk find relief from summer’s heat in this high-altitude environment. Several species of birds spend the summer on the tundra, including Horned larks, well-camouflagedwhite- tailedptarmigansandAmerican pipits. Tinyalpineflowersbloominabundance duringtheshortgrowingseason,their stunningcolorsinvitinghikerstobend downforaclose-uplook. With the exception of the Tundra Protection Areas located at the Alpine View Trail, Rock Cut, Tundra Communities Trail, Forest Canyon Overlook and Gore Range Overlook, visitors are permitted to hike on the tundra throughout the park. Alpine plants may be adaptable to the rugged climate above treeline, but they are no match for the soles of hiking boots. Areas repeatedly trod by hikers can take decades to recover as the short alpine growing season provides only a few weeks for damaged plant communities to heal. Tominimizeimpactandpreserve thisfragileenvironment,pleasefollow afewsimpleguidelines: l Obey regulations prohibiting off-trail hiking in the Tundra Protection Areas. These zones are located in places where visitation is highest, and hikers must stay on marked trails. l Always stay on hiking trails where they exist. l Walk on rocks or snow when possible to avoid contact with the alpine tundra’s fragile plant life. l Minimize trampling. When Chiking off-trail across the open tundra, never walk single-file. n Hiking & Climbing Enjoy and Protect Rocky’s Fragile Alpine Tundra Alpine avens, King’s crown, Chiming bells and other exquisite alpine plants are easily damaged by careless hikers. (Nancy Wilson) At 14,259 feet, Longs Peak towers above all other summits in RockyMountain National Park. Different angles show the great mountain’s unique profiles. Changing weather reflects Longs Peak’s manymoods. In the summertime – the season when thousands attempt to climb to Longs’ summit – those moods can be unpredictable. Variable weather, including snow, cold temperatures and gusty winds can occur at any time. Most days see clouds building in the afternoon sky, often exploding in storms of brief, heavy rain, thunder and dangerous lightning. People usually start hiking well before dawn to avoid these weather-related hazards. The Keyhole Route is usually free of ice and snow between mid-July and early September, though conditions do vary. Check with a ranger, call 970-586- 1206, or visit the park website planyourvisit/longspeak.htm. It is a strenuous eight miles one-way with an elevation gain of 4,850 feet, crossing sheer vertical rock faces, narrow ledges, loose rock and steep cliffs. Good route-finding and rock scrambling skills are a must to follow the red and yellow bull’s eyes that mark the route at the steepest areas. To lose the trail may mean more difficult climbing with potentially severe consequences, so climbers are advised to follow the trail with care. Physical fitness and acclimation to the high altitude are required. Weather is another challenge often faced on Longs Peak, and one that can be difficult to predict. Along the Keyhole Route, extreme conditions can appear suddenly and drastically, ranging from gale- force winds, thunderstorms and lightning to freezing temperatures, hail and snow. These conditions require greater mountaineering skills and sound judgment. This challenging route was the choice of British adventurer Isabella Bird in 1873. Her words of wonder and praise for Longs Peak, which concluded that it was “much more than a mountain,” ring true today as if the ink in her book, A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains, was still fresh. Tragically, there are those who never left Longs Peak alive. A stone gazebo at the Keyhole formation displays a plaque memorializing Agnes Vaille, a well- known climber in the 1920s who succeeded in making the first winter ascent of the mountain’s precipitous East Face by a woman in January, 1925. Sadly, she met her death upon her descent during freezing blizzard conditions. Agnes Vaille and more than 50 other climbers have lost their lives on Longs Peak. It is not a mountain tolerant of the unprepared. Keyhole Route climbers should be properly outfitted with sturdy footwear, layers of clothing, high-energy food and plenty of water. Use caution when ascending or descending steep areas, and be aware that high elevations can affect conditioning and judgment. Don’t be too proud to back off when bad weather threatens or when conditions are marginal. Climbing Longs Peak is an experience not easily forgotten. But it is essential to be prepared, to be aware of surroundings and weather conditions, and always to use common sense. Have a safe trip. n LONGS PEAK Much More Than a Mountain Much of the year, snow covers Longs Peak, the park’s highest mountain summit. (NPS John Marino) 6 See pages 10-11 for trip planning publications The Guide is published annually by the Rocky Mountain Nature Association and Rocky Mountain National Park. Mountain adventures in the park are not limited to hiking. Technical climbing routes abound east of the Continental Divide. Lower-elevation climbing is especially popular on Lumpy Ridge. Less- accessible technical climbing routes can be found high above treeline. They often involve a lengthy hike, higher elevations and considerably greater skill and risk. For more information about specific climbing sites, safety precautions and regulations, contact the park’s Backcountry Office at 970-586-1242. n Climbing For Technical Types Learn more about Rocky’s alpine tundra: tundra_ecosystem.htm Learn more about climbing Longs Peak: Know Before You Hike... l Stay together - don’t separate on the trail and always keep children with the group. l Leave detailed plans of your itinerary, and stick to the plan! l Be aware of falling trees, which are hazards throughout the park. l Don’t count on cell phone service in the park - there are many “dead” spots in this rugged terrain. l Be aware and prepared for changing weather. Thunderstorms develop quickly, so avoid being above treeline after noon when thunderstorms often occur. l Drink lots of water to stay hydrated in this dry climate, and bring high-energy snacks to fuel your hike. l Wear sturdy footwear for rocky park trails. l Practice Leave No Trace ethics: plan ahead and prepare; travel on durable surfaces; dispose of waste properly; leave what you find; respect wildlife; be considerate of other visitors. Always remember: Pets are not allowed on any park trails! Bus Tour Adventures in Rocky Mountain National Park! with Rocky Mountain Field Seminars ® Grand Lake Safari: Educational Adventure by Bus ® Journey to the Top! A Trail Ridge Road Bus Adventure ® Elk Expeditions Sit back and experience the park with a professional naturalist in these educational park tours. Available throughout the summer, from June through October. Ask for a schedule at park visitor centers, or, call 970-586-3262 for more information. Visit to register! 970-586-3262 A program of the Rocky Mountain Nature Association RMNA Nature Stores recommends: ä Alpine Wildflowers of the Rocky Mountains ä Trails Illustrated Topo Maps
  7. 7. Popular Hikes 7 Destination Trailhead Distance (one-way in miles) LakesLakes NYMPH LAKE Bear Lake 0.5 This is a great “get into shape” hike for new park arrivals. DREAM LAKE Bear Lake 1.1 Dramatic scenery rewards hikers making this short climb. BIERSTADT LAKE Bierstadt Lake 1.4 Bear Lake 1.6 This popular mountain lake is nestled in heavy timber. THE POOL Fern Lake 1.7 A deep pool of the BigThompson offers a peaceful respite. EMERALD LAKE Bear Lake 1.8 Mountainsrisesteeplyabovethispopularhikingdestination. GEM LAKE Lumpy Ridge 1.8 The trail to this pretty lake usually is hikable year-round. LAKE HAIYAHA Bear Lake 2.1 Haiyaha is almost surrounded by the Continental Divide. CUB LAKE Cub Lake 2.3 This trail is adorned with early summer wildflowers. MILLS LAKE Glacier Gorge 2.8 Sweeping mountain scenery surrounds this lovely lake. THE LOCH Glacier Gorge 3.0 The popular lake sits in an inspiring mountain setting. FERN LAKE Fern Lake 3.8 A tourist lodge once sat upon Fern Lake’s scenic shoreline. ODESSA LAKE Bear Lake 4.1 Fern Lake 4.4 Dramatic peaks loom above this stunning mountain lake. CHASM LAKE Longs Peak 4.2 Don’t feed the begging marmots by this rugged lake. SANDBEACH LAKE Sandbeach Lake 4.2 A steady climb rewards hikers with fine scenery. FINCH LAKE Finch Lake 4.5 Remnants of the 1978 Ouzel Fire highlight this Wild Basin trek. YPSILON LAKE Lawn Lake 4.5 Views of Ypsilon Mountain grace the MummyRange lake. SKY POND Glacier Gorge 4.9 Divide views surround an awesome destination. BLACK LAKE Glacier Gorge 5.0 This mountain lake is set above dramatic Ribbon Falls. LONE PINE LAKE East Inlet 5.5 A sheer rock wall ascends from Lone Pine’s far shore. BLUEBIRD LAKE Wild Basin 6.0 Lovelywildflowershighlightthissoutheasternhike. PEAR LAKE Finch Lake 6.5 Hikers find solitude at a remote Wild Basin destination. THUNDER LAKE Wild Basin 6.8 This high-elevation lake sits in a flower-filled meadow. LAKE VERNA East Inlet 6.9 Fjord-like Lake Verna rewards the ambitious hiker. LION LAKE No. 1 Wild Basin 7.0 Wildflowers grow in profusion at this subalpine lake. SPIRIT LAKE East Inlet 7.8 Some hike to the remote west side lake to fish. LAKE NOKONI North Inlet 9.9 Tranquility abounds at this distant west side lake. LAKE NANITA North Inlet 11.0 Hiking in the park’s interior is a wilderness experience. WaterfallsWaterfalls COPELAND FALLS Wild Basin 0.3 This easy hike to a beautiful setting is ideal for families. ALBERTA FALLS Glacier Gorge 0.8 Bear Lake 0.9 This dramatic waterfall is a popular park destination. CALYPSO CASCADESWild Basin 1.8 The waterfall was named in honor of the calypso orchid. FERN FALLS Fern Lake 2.7 This refreshing, inspiring place is perfect for trail breaks. OUZEL FALLS Wild Basin 2.7 These scenic falls are frequently photographed. CASCADE FALLS North Inlet 3.5 A gentle west side hike through a lodgepole forest. TIMBERLINE FALLS Glacier Gorge 4.0 Seeing this jewel of a waterfall is well worth the climb. Mountain SummitsMountain Summits All hikes to mountain summits are strenuous. Be sure to thoroughly research your route ahead of time and pack plenty of food, water and extra clothing. DEER MTN. (10,013’) Deer Mountain 3.0 Fine views make this a great picnic destination. TWIN SISTERS PEAKS (11,428’) Twin Sisters 3.9 These two peaks offer outstanding vistas. Don’t be misled by a false summit along the way. FLATTOP MTN. (12,324’)Bear Lake 4.4 It’s an arduous climb to this peak offering panoramic views and access to many other great mountain summits. ESTES CONE (11,006’) Lily Lake 3.7 The views from the top of this peak are some of the finest in the park. Be prepared for a steep, rough trail after Storm Pass. Historic SitesHistoric Sites TUNDRA COMMUNITIES TRAIL (Strollers OK)0.5 ThispavedtrailatRockCutalongTrailRidgeRoadleadsto panoramicviewsof thealpinetundraattheTollMemorial. EUGENIA MINE Longs Peak 1.4 Mine remains in the Longs Peak area recall the dashed hopes of early prospectors. LULU CITY Colorado River 3.7 This 1800s mining camp boomed briefly and went bust. HOLZWARTH HISTORIC SITE Trail Ridge Road 0.5 Strollers permitted It’s a short walk on a level gravel trail to this dude ranch complex developed in the early 1900s. SPRAGUE LAKE Sprague Lake .5 (loop) Strollers permitted Lovelyviews of the Continental Divide grace this level, hardened trail.An accessible campsite is located in the area. BEAR LAKE NATURE TRAIL Bear Lake 0.6 (loop) Partially accessible, strollers permitted An excellent booklet-guided nature trail circles this popular subalpine lake at the end of Bear Lake Road. LILY LAKE Lily Lake 0.7 (loop) Strollers permitted Look for wildflowers in the spring and early summer along the level gravel trail around a mountain lake. COYOTE VALLEY Coyote Valley 1.0 (loop) Strollers permitted Elk and moose sometimes are seen from this level gravel trail, especially during dawn and dusk. ADAMS FALLS East Inlet Trailhead 0.3 Hiking trail It’s a short hike to a dramatic waterfall near Grand Lake on the west side of the park. MORAINE PARK VISITOR CENTER NATURE TRAIL Moraine Park Visitor Center 0.6 (loop) Hiking trail Interpretive signs and a full‐color booklet guide visitors along this scenic nature trail in Moraine Park. l Sturdy footwear l Rain gear l Layered clothing l Sweater or jacket l Long pants l Gloves and hat l Extra socks l Sun block l Sunglasses l Whistle l Flashlight l Pocket knife l High-energy snacks l First aid kit l Waterproof matches l Plenty of water l Topo map and compass or other navigational aid HIKING ESSENTIALS Coyote Valley Trail (Joan Nesselroad) Pack Pack Out Out Trash! Trash! Park Visitor Center Information Five visitor centers are located in the park to assist you during your visit. Hours vary, but all offer park information, restrooms and a park bookstore. The free park movie is shown at Beaver Meadows and Kawuneeche visitor centers. Check the park newspaper or visitor_centers.htm for hours and more information. Beaver Meadows: Located on Hwy 36 west of Estes Park; free park movie; Backcountry Office next door; free Wi-Fi Fall River: Located on Hwy 34 west of Estes Park; exhibits; free Wi-Fi Moraine Park: Located on Bear Lake Road; exhibits Alpine: Located atop Trail Ridge Road; exhibits; adjacent restaurant & gift store Kawuneeche: Located on Hwy 34 north of Grand Lake; exhibits; free Wi-Fi Due to the flood of September, 2013, backcountry travelers may encounter missing foot bridges, missing trail segments, uneven trail surfaces, unstable slopes and fallen trees. In addition, rutted trails and steps, difficult water crossings, and missing directional signs also may be encountered. Be prepared. RMNA Nature Stores recommends: ä Best of Bear Lake Country ä Hiking Rocky Mountain National Park ä Rocky Mountain Day Hikes ä The Longs Peak Experience Accessible and Family-friendly Trails
  8. 8. Watching Wildlife Tips Never, ever feed wildlife, including birds and chipmunks. Feeding reduces their ability to survive the long mountain winter. When they panhandle by roadsides, animals fall easy prey to automobiles. As they become habituated to humans and lose their natural fear, the animals become aggressive and may be destroyed. Feeding or harassing wildlife is illegal in all national parks. Wildlife is unpredictable - watch from a distance. For your safety and theirs, use binoculars or a telephoto lens to get close-up views. Following larger animals too closely to get a photograph or a better look can stress them and threaten their health. If animals notice you or if they seem nervous, you are too close. Move away quietly. Obey all signs posting closed areas. At different times of the year, some areas are closed to protect wildlife during nesting, mating and birthing seasons. Use of wildlife calls and spotlights is illegal. They stress animals and alter their natural behavior. Keep pets in your vehicle. They may scare wildlife, and wild animals can hurt your pet. Large animals such as elk, sheep, bears and mountain lions can be dangerous. Check at visitor centers for valuable tips on safety around wildlife. Drive slowly and cautiously. Watch for animals crossing the road. Deer and elk are seldom alone. If you see one animal, look for others that may follow. Stop your car to watch animals only if you can pull off the road safely and completely. Do not block traffic. When possible, get away from roadsides and sit quietly to observe and listen for wildlife. Talk only when necessary, and do so quietly so you don't disturb the animals or other wildlife watchers. If viewing from your vehicle, turn off the motor. n Wildlife Rocky Mountain National Park visitors have a passion for viewing wild animals, especially the large ones. With elk, bighorn sheep, mule deer and moose calling the park home, it’s no surprise that wildlife watching is rated the number-one activity by a vast majority of Rocky’s visitors. The park’s great large-animal population makes it one of the country’s top wildlife watching destinations. But also found in Rocky Mountain National Park are nearly 60 other species of mammals, more than 280 recorded bird species, six amphibians (including the endangered boreal toad), one reptile (the harmless garter snake), 11 species of fish and countless insects, including a surprisingly large number of butterflies. On this page are a few of the wild residents park visitors might encounter. PIKA Habitat: Rock piles at higher elevations Viewing Tips: Listen for its sharp, distinctive bark and watch for movement among the rocks. ELK Habitat: Meadows, and where meadows and forests meet. Common at lower elevations in the fall, winter and spring Viewing Tips: Look for elk at dawn and dusk. During the fall mating season, bull elk can be heard bugling and seen sparring with their large antlers as they attempt to attract harems of cow elk. YELLOW-BELLIED MARMOT Habitat: Rock piles Viewing Tips: Look for marmots sunbathing on rock outcroppings on the tundra along Trail Ridge and Old Fall River roads. MULE DEER Habitat: All habitats Viewing Tips: At lower elevations, mule deer are most often found in open areas. COYOTE Habitat: All habitats Viewing Tips: The coyote’s yipping and howling sometimes is heard in the evening and morning. MOOSE Habitat: Stream beds and meadows Viewing Tips: These large mammals frequent willow thickets along the Colorado River in the Kawuneeche Valley on the park’s west side. WHITE-TAILED PTARMIGAN Habitat: Around willows and rock outcrops on the alpine tundra Viewing Tips: Look carefully. Their excellent camouflage makes ptarmigans hard to spot. 8 See pages 10-11 for trip planning publications W I L D & WATCHABLE Rocky Mountain National Park has a small population of black bears. Chances are you won’t see one during your visit, but it is very important that your actions do not attract bears, which are, by nature, intelligent, curious and hungry. Once a bear gets a taste of human food, almost nothing will stop it from looking for more. This leads to conflict with campers, park visitors and homeowners, which can eventually lead to the bear’s death. “Food items" include food, drinks, toiletries, cosmetics, pet food and bowls, and other odoriferous attractants. At trailheads, please do not leave any food items in your vehicle. On the trail, keep food items with you at all times. Always keep a clean campsite, in campgrounds and in backcountry sites. Never leave food items unattended. In campgrounds, store food items inside vehicle trunks with windows closed and doors locked or in park-provided bear boxes. At backcountry campsites, all food items must be stored in carry-in, carry-out hard-sided bear- resistant storage containers. Save a Bear’s Life! Be Bear Aware!Be Bear Aware! BIGHORN SHEEP Habitat: Rocky mountainsides and canyons Viewing Tips: Bighorn sheep often are seen at Sheep Lakes from May through mid-August. Keep your eyes peeled for lambs around mid-June. Save a Bear’s Life! l l l l l l l l l RMNA Nature Stores recommends: ä Field Guide to Wildlife Viewing in RMNP ä Watchable Wildlife: RMNP Mammals
  9. 9. Summer in Rocky Mountain National Park means green meadows, shimmering lakes, plentiful wildlife and flower shows on the alpine tundra. But summer is also the busiest season, when parking areas can fill and some roads and trails can be congested. Many visitors find that autumn, winter and spring offer different opportunities, when it’s relatively more quiet and less busy at Rocky Mountain. The park is open year-round. Only Trail Ridge Road, Old Fall River Road and some secondary dirt roads are closed by winter’s heavy snows, but both sides of the park have miles of open roads to explore year-round. More than half of the park’s approximately three million annual visitors arrive during June, July and August, leaving the remainder of the year much less crowded. An average winter day sees only one-tenth the number of people visiting than a typical summer day. In addition, autumn, winter and spring offer an ever-changing palette of colors and many different activities. As summer becomes autumn, the shortening days trigger changes in the natural world. Two of the park’s most anticipated events occur in September and October. Elk begin moving to lower elevations in preparation for the rut, or mating season. Bulls display magnificent racks of antlers, and their eerie bugling carries across the meadows and forests. Evenings and early mornings are the best times to observe and hear these animals. Look for elk in park meadows, such as Horseshoe Park, Beaver Meadows and Moraine Park on the park’s east side; Harbison Meadow and the meadow at the Holzwarth Historic Site on the west side. Autumn comes early to the high country and aspen trees, which occur on both sides of the park, offer the most brilliant colors. In the Grand Lake area, aspen leaves start turning gold in early September; on the east side, Bear Lake starts turning in mid-September; in the Estes Park area in late September. Temperature, rain, snow and wind affect when the leaves turn and sometimes cause the leaves to drop early. A walk through the autumn forests also reveals the reds and golds of numerous understory plants. Autumn days often are splendid – crisp and clear with an occasional snowfall. Winter begins early at Rocky Mountain’s high elevations. By mid- November, the Kawuneeche Valley may have enough snow for snowshoe treks and long, gentle cross-country ski tours. For those not looking for snow, some east side hiking trails can be surprisingly snow-free – or nearly so – year-round. Conditions change regularly throughout the season, so be sure to check at a visitor center, or at trail_conditions.htm, for the latest hiking and snow conditions before starting out. Wildlife viewing can be especially rewarding in the wintertime. The sights of a coyote hunting in a snow-covered meadow, of herds of elk with their breath condensing in the air, of a cow and a calf moose silhouetted against the snow, are unforgettable park images. Spring arrives at different times in the park, depending on elevation and slope. In the Kawuneeche Valley and Bear Lake areas, spring snowshoeing and skiing are sometimes possible. Meanwhile, lower-elevation areas are starting to bud and bloom. Mountain bluebirds, which start returning from their winter grounds in early March, are brilliant in flight. Beginning in mid-March, look for nesting raptors on Lumpy Ridge as peregrine and prairie falcons, golden eagles and red-tailed hawks nest on the warm, sunny cliffs. In earlyApril, stroll Moraine Park to search for the season’s first wildflowers, including tulip-shaped Pasqueflowers, pink Springbeauties and yellow Sage buttercups. Also in early April, ground squirrels and marmots emerge from hibernation. As the spring season progresses, the melting snowline climbs higher into the mountains. But, those relatively few people who visited the park during the autumn, winter and spring know they and nature shared some very special moments indeed. n Rich in its variety of resources and human history, the park’s Colorado River District west of the Continental Divide is filled with opportunities for adventure, exploration, solitude and reflection. The Utes and the Arapahos were the most recent American Indians to frequent the area. They did not settle permanently, but their passages over high mountain passes within the park were regular occurrences. Today, following the Ute Trail from the Alpine Visitor Center and descending to the subalpine habitat that surrounds Milner Pass, the footsteps of the Ute and Arapaho are almost audible when hiking their ancient paths. Active settlement in the park’s west began with the homesteaders and miners who arrived in the late 1800s. These hardy settlers occupied the valley well into the twentieth century. Today, a hiker might imagine the raucous noise of a busy mining community fading into the wind while walking a pleasant 3 3/4 miles along the Colorado River to the abandoned mining town of Lulu City on the Colorado River Trail. Along the way are abandoned mine entrances, cabin ruins and other remnants of past inhabitants and visitors. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) also was active along this trail in the 1930s, and the Phantom Valley CCC Camp site was located only a mile from the trailhead. The landscape has changed over the years, but evidence of earlier inhabitants and spectacular views are everywhere for discovery. Families can begin their discovery into another time on one of the family-friendly trails of the Colorado River District. In 1920, the Holzwarth Ranch opened as a dude ranch. Today, on many summer days, tours of the restored ranch house and outbuildings are offered at the end of a ½ mile walk across the valley. Watch for wildlife here, as moose and elk are frequent visitors to the area. The Coyote Valley Trail is a one-mile wheelchair- accessible loop along the Colorado River featuring picturesque views of the Never Summer Mountains. Further down the valley, a short 1/3 mile walk on the East Inlet Trail offers dramatic views of Adams Falls and of a gorgeous meadow just beyond. For those who favor longer, more strenuous hikes, forging another seven miles onward beyond the falls (round trip) leads past the meadow to the top of The Devil’s Staircase. A while after passing the falls, the ascent becomes increasingly aggressive, climbing steadily for the next mile. Hikers pause to enjoy the emerging westward views of Grand Lake as they climb the Devil’s Staircase. This section of trail seemingly was etched out of the rock wall. Finally, after a sharp switchback, the trail arrives at its destination — a rock shelf offering spectacular views. Hikers then can choose to continue on to Lone Pine Lake, a stunning subalpine lake (11 miles round trip) with unsurpassed vistas of the surrounding peaks. Longer, more challenging hikes also are available on the park’s west side. For impressive views of Big Meadows and of the “Big Meadows” burn area above Granite Falls, the Onahu Trail Loop begins at Green Mountain. For those with stamina, the Tonahutu Trail Loop is a challenging 27-mile loop that passes through some of the most beautiful alpine scenery that the park has to offer. Here, a hiker can be transported to new heights and enjoy intimate forests and mountain streams. A smorgasbord of delights awaits on the park’s west side.n Scenery and Solitude on Rocky’s West Side Moose are frequently seen along the Colorado River in the Kawuneeche Valley (Jack Glover) Quiet Times Winter brings snow, serenity and regular wildlife sightings to Rocky Mountain National Park. The park’s autumn, winter and spring seasons offer smaller crowds and plentiful activities. (Gene Putney) 9 Peace, Nature Prevail During the Quiet Seasons Discover more winter acitivies in Rocky at: winter_activities.htm Shooting star (Dodecatheon poeticum) (Liza Grant) RMNA Nature Stores recommends: ä The Best of the Kawuneeche Valley: An Insider’s Guide
  10. 10. Bookstore PARK BOOKS THE BEST OF BEAR LAKE COUNTRY: A RMNP INSIDER’S GUIDE Rocky Mountain Nature Association AWARD WINNER! In this beautiful book, park ranger‐naturalists share their knowledge of the region’s mountain‐rimmed lakes, cascading waterfalls, soaring summits, fascinating wildlife, colorful plant life and rich human history through the four seasons. Accompanying their accounts are breathtaking images from top photographers. 32 pages, softcover. Item# 2015 $5.95 THE BEST OF THE KAWUNEECHE VALLEY: A RMNP INSIDER’S GUIDE Rocky Mountain Nature Association In this beautifully illustrated booklet, expert park ranger‐ naturalists point the way to the special places discoverable in the Kawuneeche Valley, its lakes, waterfalls, peaks, passes, wildlife, plant life and rich human history. It is the perfect primer for anyone seeking to explore the park’s wild, wonderful west side in hiking boots, on skis or atop snowshoes. 24 pages, softcover. Item# 8289 $5.95 GUIDE TO TRAIL RIDGE ROAD Rocky Mountain Nature Association From the comfort of your vehicle, experience the stunning scenic vistas, vast alpine landscapes and fascinating wildlife commonly seen along the highest continuous paved highway in North America. This self‐guided tour booklet visits 12 marked stops along Trail Ridge Road answering many of the questions travelers frequently ask park rangers. Let this useful and beautifully illustrated publication be your guide to mountain adventure. 24 pages, softcover. Item# 2 $2.00 GEOLOGY ALONG TRAIL RIDGE ROAD Omer B. Raup AWARD WINNER! The fascinating geologic episodes that created the park’s amazing scenery come to life in an extraordinary award‐ winning book written by a veteran USGS geologist. Color photos and informative text detail 17 stops along Trail Ridge Road. This beautiful best seller also features a glossary and three‐dimensional foldout map. See Trail Ridge Road like never before! 75 pages, softcover. Item# 2884 $14.95 FIELD GUIDE TO WILDLIFE VIEWING IN ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK Rocky Mountain Nature Association Illustrations by Wendy Smith Exquisite illustrations and expert information make this 40‐page guide essential to wildlife watchers. Detailed illustrations of the park’s four ecosystems are followed by individual fine‐art vignettes of many mammals and birds commonly seen in the respective life zones. Additional text offers expert information on species identification, habitat and prime park viewing locations, as well as viewing tips and fast facts. 40 pages, softcover. Item# 2894 $6.95 CIMARRON THE BIGHORN SHEEP Rocky Mountain Nature Association NEW! It’s spring in the Rocky Mountains, and Cimarron, the bighorn lamb, is experiencing the world around him for the very first time. Join Cimarron as he comes face to face with Rocky Mountain wildlife – ptarmigan, beaver and a mountain lion! See how Cimarron learns to adapt and survive through the seasons in this high mountain environment where every day is an adventure! Kids ages 6‐70 will enjoy this story. 32 pages, softcover. Item# 9706 $9.95 WILD & WATCHABLE WILDLIFE: RMNP MAMMALS Rocky Mountain Nature Association Rocky Mountain National Park is one of America’s premier places to view large mammals. Patience, timing and luck are key factors in locating them. This guide features 7 of the large mammals seen in Rocky Mountain National Park. Learn about the animals’ history, what they eat and how they behave, and discover some of the best viewing sites in the park, and more. The more you know about wildlife, the greater your chance to observe these amazing animals in the wild. 32 pages, softcover. Item# 91 $5.95 ROCKY MTN. MAMMALS: A HANDBOOK OF MAMMALS OF RMNP AND VICINITY David M. Armstrong Revised, updated, and illustrated with more than 50 new color photographs, this guide was designed for quick reference and enjoyable reading. Accounts of 72 species describe each animal and its signs, habits, habitat and natural history. This lavishly illustrated new edition includes wildlife watching support, a checklist with page numbers for quick field reference, an identification key, a glossary, derivations of scientific names and advice on how, when and where to watch mammals. 288 pages, softcover. Item# 1889 $19.95 ROCKY MTN. NAT’L. PARK: A YEAR IN PICTURES David Dahms A rich photographic showcase of the magnificent scenery in RMNP. More than 100 stunning color photographs celebrate the progression of the seasons. Images of rugged mountains, alpine lakes and rushing streams are complemented by intimate wildflower and wildlife photos. 64 pages, softcover. Item# 2672 $9.95 RMNP ROAD GUIDE National Geographic This book is the essential guide for motorists. Discover roadside wonders, including stunning scenery, a profusion of animals, and the park’s fascinating human history This helpful book includes road maps with side‐by‐ side commentaries. 93 pages, softcover. Item# 2823 $8.95 DVDs RMNP SPIRIT OF THE MOUNTAINS, 2ND EDITION National Park Service Featuring beautiful cinematography, expert narrative and a captivating original music score, this high‐definition film captures the park’s grandeur through the four seasons. Visitors experience this award‐winning production in park visitor centers. 23 minutes. Item# 6772 $9.95 10 Call 1-800-816-7662 to order, or visit Visit w w w. r m n a . o r g • See more products available at our online bookstore • Get information about RMNA and the park ALPINE WILDFLOWERS OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS Beatrice E. Willard & Michael Smithson REVISED EDITION! Written by leading tundra ecology experts, this beautiful RMNA classic is a guide to many of the wildflowers that carpet the alpine tundra during the high country summer. 40 pages, softcover. Item# 30 $5.95 ROCKY MOUNTAIN WILDFLOWERS David Dahms A handy pocket guide to Rocky Mountain wildflowers. Great for taking into the field. 123 pages, softcover. Item# 2675 $6.95 ROCKY MOUNTAIN RUSTIC: HISTORIC BUILDINGS OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK AREA James Lindberg, Patricia Raney & Janet Robertson Early settlers came to today’s park area with dreams of cattle ranches, farms, productive mines, successful commercial ventures or summer homes amid the stunning scenery. They left behind one of the West’s premier collections of historic lodges, guest ranches, cabins and retreats. Accompanying the beautiful contemporary and historical images in this best‐selling coffee table classic are the stories behind the buildings. 176 pages, softcover. Item# 2881 $19.95 Shop at the Rocky Mountain Nature Association Your Purchase Makes a Difference These products have been selected by the nonprofit Rocky Mountain Nature Association (RMNA) for their usefulness in planning a visit to Rocky Mountain National Park. RMNA proceeds help support important park programs. Be sure to visit the RMNA bookstores at: ►Alpine Visitor Center ► Beaver Meadows Visitor Center ► Fall River Visitor Center ► Kawuneeche Visitor Center ► Moraine Park Visitor Center Rocky Mountain Nature Association • P.O. Box 3100 • Estes Park, CO 80517 • (970) 586-0108 Award Winner! Ranger Recommendations
  11. 11. RMNP: NATIONAL PARK & MONUMENT SERIES Finley‐Holiday Films This spectacular DVD tour lets you experience the best of Rocky Mountain National Park, its towering peaks, glacier‐carved canyons, crystal‐clear lakes, incredible wildlife and distinctive seasons. Includes beautiful landscape footage, Trail Ridge Road scenes and wildlife. 60 minutes. Item# 888 $19.95 REAL ROCKY Nick Mollé Productions Enjoy stunning scenery at every turn as you enter the world of Real Rocky, from a breathtaking drive over Trail Ridge Road, to hiking deep in the backcountry. Climb mountains, , and flyfish high country lakes. Hike many other wilderness destinations, and view elk, bighorn sheep, moose and other park wildlife. 67 minutes Item# 889 $19.95 RIVERS OF ROCKY Nick Mollé Productions Visit the breathtaking wonders of the mountain lakes and streams where wildlife abounds. Enter the world of elk, moose, bears, marmots, beavers and many more critters. Discover the source of the mighty Colorado River and follow it on its journey west. 60 minutes. Item# 8297 $19.95 AUDIO GUIDED TOUR OF TRAIL RIDGE ROAD This CD describes the awe‐inspiring route along Trail Ridge Road from Estes Park to the Kawuneeche Valley on the park’s west side. The trip comes alive as expert narratives by rangers, naturalists and a historian describe the famed auto route’s history, geology, wildlife, plant life and more. 90 minutes. Item# 3381 $13.95 HIKING BOOKS HIKING RMNP Kent Dannen The tenth edition of this guidebook to the park and the Indian Peaks Wilderness is the hiker’s bible. Detailed descriptions, maps, charts and illustrations show the way to all destinations. 304 pages, softcover. Item# 8597 $16.95 THE LONGS PEAK EXPERIENCE Mike Donahue Written by a veteran climber, this book is especially recommended for first‐ time Longs Peak trekkers. A member of a family of Longs Peak mountaineers, the author offers route descriptions and trip preparation information. 80 pages, softcover. Item# 655 $8.95 ROCKY MTN. DAY HIKES Dave and Hal Rusk A great pocket guide covering 24 hikes in the park. Elevation profiling gives hikers an idea of the terrain out there on Rocky Mountain National Park’s spectacular hiking trails. 68 pages, softcover. Item# 187 $5.95 HIKING CIRCUITS IN RMNP Jack & Elizabeth Hailman This is the first guide dedicated exclusively to loop trails in Rocky Mountain National Park. Included are descriptions and maps detailing 33 treks, with detailed driving instructions to the access points. Hikes range from an easy stroll around a lake to multi‐day back‐ packing trips. 240 pages, softcover. Item# 3471 $19.95 HIKING ADVENTURES IN RMNP Rocky Mountain Nature Association This easy‐to‐use, newspaper offers a broad range of hiking options available in six regions of RMNP. Includes maps, trail descriptions, mileage, difficulty levels and trails checklist. 8 pages. Item# 2895 $1.00 Bookstore Call 1-800-816-7662 to order, or visit 11 RMNP DVD & BOOK SPECIAL SUPER SAVINGS! Planning your visit to Rocky Mountain National Park? Want to kick back and relive pleasant mountain memories? This special multimedia package is for you. Includes the excellent Rocky Mountain National Park: Spirit of the Mountains DVD ($9.95) enjoyed by thousands of visitors in the park’s visitor centers each year and Rocky Mountain National Park: A Year in Pictures,photographer David Dahms’ popular $9.95 book capturing the park’s beauty through the four seasons. Retail value: $19.90 Item# 3227 Package price: $14.95 HIKER’S SPECIAL BEST SELLER! Includes the best‐ selling book Hiking Rocky Mountain National Park, a $16.95 retail value, and Trails Illustrated’s popular park topo map, which retails for $11.95. Hikers, this best‐selling package is your key to unforgettable park adventures at a special savings. Retail value: $28.90! Item# 33 Package price $25.95 TO PLACE AN ORDER, GO TO OR CALL 970‐586‐0121 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (MT) Monday-Friday MAPS TRAILS ILLUSTRATED TOPOGRAPHICAL MAPS ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK The park’s best general hiking trail map. Based on the standard USGS topo map, this regularly updated, accurate, user‐friendly, version includes safety tips and important regulations. Fifty‐foot contours, scale: 1 to 50,000. Waterproof and tearproof. Item# 172 $11.95 LONGS PEAK/BEAR LAKE/WILD BASIN Forty‐foot contour intervals offer greater detail to backcountry explorers in this popular region. Waterproof and tearproof, scale 1 to 25,000. Item# 2584 $9.95 INDIAN PEAKS/GOLD HILL This map of the Indian Peaks area is a backpack essential for all hikers and climbers. Waterproof, tearproof. Forty‐foot contours, scale 1 to 25,000. Item# 61 $11.95 Visit w w w. r m n a . o r g • See more products available at our online bookstore • Get information about RMNA and the park RMNP TRIP-PLANNING PACKAGE BUY AND SAVE! You’re ready to go with this special package. Includes A Day in Rocky, Bear Lake Nature Trail, Moraine Park Museum and Interpretive Trail, Guide to Old Fall River Road, Ouzel Country (Wild Basin) and an information‐packed newspaper: Hiking Adventures in Rocky Mountain National Park. See you in the park! Retail value: $11.95 Item# 2924 Package price: $9.95 ROCKY MOUNTAIN FIELD SEMINARS ® Seminars offered in photography, geology, wildlife, plants, history, art & outdoor skills ® Classes for kids and families ® Half-day and multi-day classes ® Custom courses &step-on tours ® Credit available Call for a free seminar catalog: 970-586-3262 A program of the Rocky Mountain Nature Association BECOME A MEMBER OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATURE ASSOCIATION and save 15% on books and maps and a host of wonderful park items today!
  12. 12. Park Map 12 See pages 10-11 for trip planning publications All passes are available at all park entrance stations. Payment for fees and passes must be by U.S. currency, coin, check (payable to the National Park Service), or American Express, Visa, Master Card or Discover credit cards. Debit cards are accepted by the park. Pass Fee Automobile 7-day pass $20 Motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians, $10 per person, not to exceed mopeds $20 per vehicle. Rocky Mountain National Park $40 pass provides unlimited Annual Pass entry to Rocky for 1 year. Rocky Mountain National Park/ $50 pass provides unlimited Arapaho National Recreation Area entry to both areas for 1 year. Annual Pass America the Beautiful Interagency Pass* $80 provides unlimited entry to federal recreation sites (including National Parks)thatcharge anentrance or standard amenity fee for 1 year. America the Beautiful Senior Pass* $10 lifetime pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over. America the Beautiful Access Pass* Free lifetime pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents with a permanent disability. America the Beautiful Military Pass* Free unlimited entry to federal recreation sites for active duty military personnel and dependents with required proper identification (CAC card or DD form 1173) for 1 year. Bear Lake Road & Hiker Shuttle Services The Bear Lake Road corridor is served by two shuttle routes: Bear Lake Route ~ Moraine Park Route The shuttle is free to park visitors. Rocky Mountain National Park and the Town of Estes Park operate a Hiker Shuttle connecting the Estes Park visitor center, the park’s Beaver Meadows Visitor Center and the Park & Ride on Bear Lake Road. The shuttle is free, but a park pass (available in automated fee machines at the Estes Park and Beaver Meadows visitor centers) is required. RMNP Shuttle Bus Schedule 2014 Bear Lake & Moraine Park Routes: Daily service - 6/14 through 10/12 Weekends - 5/24, 5/25, 5/26, 5/31, 6/1, 6/7, 6/8 Hiker Shuttle Daily service - 6/28 through 9/7 Weekends - 9/13, 9/14, 9/20, 9/21, 9/27, 9/28, 10/4, 10/5, 10/11, 10/12 Park Entrance Fees